Back to school

As August nears its end it's time to start preparing your kids for the new school year. For many parents that means buying new school supplies and clothing. Getting them kitted out will cost but you can save on those purchases. If you are looking for ways to spend a little less on school gear follow our guide to the best savings available.

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Try second-hand. Some schools run a second-hand sale or swap shop for uniforms. Take a look at the school's website to find out. You could also contact your local education authority (LEA).

Another way of exploring the second hand option is via the Patched Elephant website which has lists of all kinds of items. Just type what your looking for a and see if there's a match. Then it's just a case of contacting the owner to secure your purchase.

Buy school clothing that can be worn all year. Some parents get harassed into getting their kids the latest seasonal outfits but it's possible to find frugal, trendy clothes that can be they can wear all year if you mix and match a little.

The school may require you to buy uniform from a specific place. This can be more expensive. It's best to just buy the essentials (items with school colours or logo) from here and then buy other items like shirts from cheaper stores.

Try supermarkets like Tesco or Asda. They are are offering very cheap deals. You can also get very reasonably-priced uniform from other department stores like Debenhams. The good news is that you should be able to buy whole oufits for very reasonable prices.
Littlewoods Direct will also have some very good deal online but remember to shop around or use price comparison websites.

When it comes to buying shoes you may want to spend a bit more to ensure your children's feet are kept healthy. This will mean going to a store that measures the feet and fits the shoe accordingly. However, if you don't want to spend that much there are plenty of cheaper shoes available from the major supermarkets, usually priced at around £10.

You may have bought the clothes but what about all the other stuff? Whether it's stationery or lunch boxes you are best to stick with the major supermarkets. Don't be tempted by regular high street offers until you have checked your local supermarket first. The chances are you will find it cheaper there.

The main supermarkets tend to lead on price. All the big names have very cheap deals but you have to remember you get what you pay for so rock bottom prices and this year is no different. Tesco and Asda have both have some incredibly cheap offers, however be aware that the quality might not be what you would get from more expensive chains.

Try WH Smith, it's a great place to pick up a back to school item for less. Their sales offer up to seventy five per cent off their school range so it should be one of the first places to check deals.

If a laptop is part of this year's essentials then go to PC World for a laptop that won't break the bank. You make massive savings for buying online. Right now is a great time to buy if your child is getting older and they need a computer for research and writing essays

Don't leave it until the last minute! Try and get this stuff as soon as possible or you'll find long queues and limited stock and you'll end up having to buy items wherever you can find them instead of being able to shop around for the best price.